Hi, I'm dedicating this blog (the first of what's supposed to become a series of blogs) to secondhand LP's I find in a secondhand store or get from relatives, friends of my parents or parents of my friends. In this one, I'd like to say something about three great seventies albums.
"I can stand a little rain" - Joe Cocker
Released in 1974, this was Joe Cocker's first album in two rough years. He had been through lots of drugs and alcohol, had been too drunk to perform at gigs, so his popularity was very low. This LP was really a comeback album, containing two songs that are still associated with Cocker nowadays; "You are so beautiful" and Randy Newman's "Guilty".
The music is great Soul/Rhythm and Blues, and some very nice piano ballads. The best tracks are: "Put out the light", "I can stand a little rain", "I get mad" (Which he co-wrote), "The moon is a harsh mistress", "You are so beautiful" and "Guilty". I bought this in a secondhand store for €1, and (although it has some scratches), it really is a very moving album, and, if you can find it, I suggest you buy it immediately.
"Hejira" - Joni Mitchell
This 1976 album is one I got from a lot given to me by the father of one of my sister's best friend (it was a good lot, it also had Led Zeppelin IV in it). By that time, I really thought I had to get into Joni Mitchell, but her cd's I borrowed from the library couldn't convince me at all (I hated the electric guitar sound of "Wild things run fast", for instance), but when I put this record on, it all disappeared. She wrote marvelous lyrics on this, sings great, and the sound, the sound... Well, it's like being in a womb again (well, I think that's what that would feel like). You're entirely surrounded by these pieces of poetry-put-on-music. I also love the artwork, beautiful, sober black and white pictures of some abandoned Joni-land. My favourite songs on this are "Coyote", "Amelia", "Old Furry sings the blues", "Strange boy" and "Song for Sharon", but this is a record you have to listen to as a whole, not just as a collection of songs.
"Dire Straits" - Dire Straits
The 1978 debut album of Dire Straits is my favourite album of the band, because they really sound like a band on this one. I got it along with two big boxes of other stuff from one of my mom's collegues, and immediately liked it. On later records, they still have great songs, but it's really The Mark Knopfler Band, not the Dire Straits you hear on this LP. Of course, Mark's voice and guitar tone define their sound, but the tight playing of the rest of the group really contributes to the songs. The only hit on it is "Sultans of swing", but the other songs are also very nice (but less... well, genious): my favourites are "Down to the waterline", "Six blade knife", "Southbound again" (the riff makes me think of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition", and of course "Sultans of swing". If you like simple guitar pop/rock, and you like Mark Knopfler's voice (I certainly do!), you should really check this out!
Okay, so I'm from Belgium, which is about one of the smallest, silliest countries in the world, but we have some great music! (And lots of crap, too) So here are some movies (it's just links, since I couldn't seem to embed Youtube videos in my blog, if someone knows how to do this: let me know!) from Belgian bands, artists and musicians I think the world should know:
dEUS: An alternative rock band from Antwerp, with the official clip of one of their best songs, "Suds & soda".
Zita Swoon: An alternative pop/rock band (or something), also from Antwerp, led by Stef Kamil Carlens (the "Friday"-shouting guy in the dEUS clip), the best dressed man in Belgian music. Here you see a live performance of "Thinking about you all the time" (turn up your volume, cause the sound is very low on this).
Admiral Freebee: A great Rock singer, player and writer from Brasschaat, performing his first single "Ever present" in a Belgian late night show. He is less out of this world than on his gigs, but I picked this video because he does some very Neil Young-esque things on this performance.